Islam, Immigration and the Decaying Christian West

Apr 13, 2018 by

by Derya Little, Crisis Magazine:

I am an immigrant.

When my marriage brought me to the US, I spoke English, I was a PhD candidate, and I was a Christian. On top of all that, I was married to an American. Surely, my integration would be easy. Not so.

Everything was different in the West. I had first noticed it when I moved to England for my studies. Once the novelty of spongy crumpets, warm ales and gorgeous churches wore off, all that remained was a binge-drinking youth and indifferent adults. Nobody cared what anyone else did, and the efforts of the handful of those who helped others went unnoticed. The land of Shakespeare and Tolkien was nothing but a shadow of its glorious past.

Marriage took me even further from my homeland. Americans were easier to converse with, and small talk came more natural. But that indifference towards others and the ever-cherished individualism once again made this new life more isolated than I expected. Even in the Church, conversations and relationships were superficial, and daily busyness got in the way of deep friendships.

After eight years, I am not sure how integrated I am. Sure, my accent is not as thick as before and I probably eat more hamburgers than what is good for me, but a big part of me is still an outsider. What sustained me as an immigrant was not the American culture, but my faith and marriage.

Now, consider being a Muslim who does not speak English. You grew up in a country where women never wore shorts, corruption was rampant and the thought of government paying you money for not working was laughable. Concepts like all men are created equal, freedom of speech, democracy or work ethic are either entirely meaningless or irrelevant.

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